ASIR’S GATEWAY TO ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION FOR SUSPENDED CHILDREN (AESC)
Dr. Martin Luther King said: “I have a dream that my four children will on day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” (1963). As an educator and leader, I have a dream that one day our children will live in a nation of non-education inequalities. I have a dream that our children will live to become young prosperous adults and then live to see elder-age. I have a dream that non of our children will go from school to prison, or be shot down on the streets, or become alcohol or drug users. I HAVE A DREAM TOO! I HAVE A DREAM TOO! that our children will instead grow, learn and develop phenomenal characteristics, become wise in their decision-making, obtain a successful education, grow socially, and become ethical and moral individuals who will one-day make a huge difference in their own lives, their family lives, and in their communities. I have a dream the world will see that we and our children together have developed great characteristics and have overcome those social and emotional barriers that tend to hold our children down, which stifles their educational success. I have a dream that these children who are suspended and come to our program will only come back to ASIR one day to give back as a volunteer or an employee to help other children learn the value of character, empathy, respect, education and conflict resolution and peer mediation. I have a dream that through our AESC Program we are touching the lives of these young people by giving them a second chance to get their negative images together, and show the world that they too, are GREAT individuals, who are capable of lasting success! I have a DREAM TOO!
To provide a safe-haven for children who are suspended from school, while their parents are working and are unable to provide supervision for the child during the suspension period. We aim to continue their learning, while helping to keep our children off the streets and out of unsafe environments during their suspension period.
We envision helping children see themselves in future positive situations by helping them to change how they see people and things around them. We envision helping our children to build upon their cognitive and social and emotional learning by helping them to see the value in respect, self-efficacy, positive self-identity, and empathy towards others. We envision our students seeing themselves in a different light; and to understand better who they are, why they do what they do, and what the outcome may be of their behavior and the consequences of their decision-making.
In our well-rounded program, we address the needs of the “whole child,” through not only academics, but also each individual’s socio-emotional, physical and nutritional needs. We are not a cookie-cutter alternative program, but structure based. Our curriculum provides project based activities, which embrace the STEM initiative, based on the PA Learning Standards. Our Program is intentional, as it is designed to successfully build confidence, and hone into our students social-emotional developmental concepts, where the student is learning Conflict Resolution & Peer Mediation, respecting his/her peers, teachers and parents while building upon their cognitive, social and emotional skills in a positive, safe and high-quality environment. To encourage successful outcomes, we assess the needs of each child individually by meeting them where they are, and building upon their skills and strengths with a highly individualized innovative and creative methodology.